Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 2: Open Thread

Watching Stoke City play at home at Britannia Stadium is always entertaining — whether you’re watching the match in-person or on television. Officially the loudest supporters in the Premier League, Stoke City fans always make a game at their windy ground a spectacle. And out of all of their 19 home matches a season, the one today against Arsenal is always the pick of the bunch.

The hate-hate relationship between Arsenal and Stoke City is a either a joy or abomination to watch, depending on what side of the fence you sit on. It’s must-see television, and it’s always eventful no matter which teams wins or loses. EPL Talk reader Ian Cranson’s Knees, a devout Stoke City supporter, will be at the match and shared the above photo of the view from his bedroom window overlooking Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium. What a lucky gentleman to live so close to a football ground!

Kicking off at 8:30am ET (1:30pm BST), Stoke City plays Arsenal, which is then followed by Liverpool against Manchester City. While the match at the Britannia Stadium is must-see TV, so too is Liverpool against City, but for different reasons. The Reds sit at the bottom of the table, and despite some relatively decent results in the Europa League and preseason friendlies, the jury is still out whether this is a better team than last season, or the same bunch of players who underwhelmed. City, on the other hand, has a chance to make a statement of intent to let their rivals know that they mean business in their pursuit of a second successive Premier League title.

Before, during or after today’s Premier League matches, post your rants, raves, questions or observations in the comments section below.

62 thoughts on “Premier League Sunday, Gameweek 2: Open Thread”

  1. I am watching Wembley FC v Uxbridge in the FA Cup. Good to see Claudio Caniggia again. Last saw him in 1997 in Buenos Aires playing for Boca Juniors with Diego Maradona. ESPN have brought out the big guns…Jon Champion and Rebecca Lowe.

  2. Stoke lackluster Arsenal better but poor finishing hoped for a better match.oh well hope for better with the next match.LFC just might upset MCFC just a hunch type of match LFC could win and suck you back in thinking of top 4 club.

      1. Shawcross gets booed for a red card tackle that broke another player’s leg. In a perfect world Arsenal fans have forgiven and forgotten, but I can understand that grudge a lot more than the one against Ramsey.

        I’ve honestly never understood why Aaron gets booed. Not having a nice enough attitude about his leg getting broken?

      2. Shawcross did something wrong; Ramsey didn’t. It’s really that simple.

        In my opinion, Shawcross is a dirty player. Ramsey isn’t the only player he has seriously injured.

        1. MG, I’m just sick of Arsenal fans complaining about Stoke City supporters. The sooner they move on, the better.

          The Gaffer

          1. They complain because Stoke fans are, on the whole, detestable. Maybe they *should* move on, but excusing fans who boo a player whose leg was broken at their ground is backwards.

            1. I like Arsenal. I like all of the clubs in the Premier League. Just because I’m being critical doesn’t mean I don’t like a team or its supporters.

              The Gaffer

          2. seems like “you’re sick of Arsenal fans” in general, gaffer.. from what i can tell, your reaction and sentiments regarding them on here for as long as i can remember is slighting (not counting default praise after wins obviously)… same goes for almost all of the epl talk podcasters as well.. you may think i’m playing the ‘victim’ card (which might, unintentionally, further your dislike), but i’m just calling it as i see it.

            1. I’m not sick of Arsenal fans. But I am sick of Arsenal fans moaning about Stoke.

              As for the club, I have a lot of respect for Arsenal. But the team hasn’t won a trophy in over 7 years, so I’m just calling it the way I see it, and I’m not singing from the Arsenal hymn sheet.

              The Gaffer

            2. Luis, and if you’ve listened to the EPL Talk Podcast recently, including the preview, you would have heard Kartik raving about this Arsenal team and how strong they look this season.

              The Gaffer

          3. I always got the impression gaffer didn’t like spurs from epl’s spurs story selections and comments. Quite the opposite on the arse..which actually…wait … It just reinforces my thoughts that gaffer hates spurs…what’s that all about gaffer?


    1. It’s not a good look for them at all.

      On the whole, I was fairly encouraged by the Arsenal performance. A goal would have been nice, but matches at the Britannia are a unique challenge and they handled it better than I expected.

      1. Except for one thing… Stoke City had virtually no offense in the game. Arsenal had 2 to 1 possession and was just as much of a threat for Begovic as Stoke was on the Arsenal keeper.

        Arsenal looked like last seasons Liverpool. All possession, nothing to show for it.

    2. Yes, the Stoke fans that boo’d Ramsey should just let it go… not that there is much of “it” to let going seeing for the most part, he was the victim in all of this. Granted, I think Arsenal fans are a bit forgetful that the ball was a 50/50 and not some sort of intent to injure.

      1. Was the challenge on Vermaelen by Wilkinson today 50/50?.. You miss the point. It’s the reason people hate Stoke. Brute, reckless, crude and unnecessary: That’s Stoke for you. Dreadful tackling.

      2. If it is the tackle I’m thinking of, top of the box, while it was a hard tackle, it was Wilkinson’s body that tossed Vermaelen over. Wilkinson won most of the ball with his outstretched leg, but once the rest of his body arrived, he was awkwardly under Vermaelen and that contact sent him to the ground. Physical tackle, but the opponent was never going to be injured in that tackle. It wasn’t as bad as it looked, but a yellow was appropriate. If you want to bitch about something, talk about the potential hand ball by Wilkinson (replays were inconclusive, but it seemed like his arm wasn’t there by accident).

        Honestly the talk against Stoke is well over the top. If it were that bad, they’d all be out with red cards. The over-aggressive physical play by Stoke isn’t that much different than the rest of the league (heck Paul Scholes is no better than Shawcross, Huth, or Wilkinson, yet he is treated as a bloody national hero). Granted, I’ve only watched maybe 65 or so of Stoke’s games from the last two seasons, so maybe I missed something in the others.

    3. Britannia the loudest in the pl? Oh, what a soulles void the PL has become without Leeds United and their fortress Elland Road, a cauldron of vitriol that makes the Brittania look like sunday morn at Tesco’s.

      1. It’s a shame that Leeds United isn’t in the Premier League anymore. Seriously. I’d love to see them back.

        The Gaffer

        1. Nero, no. Perhaps the game against Arsenal is only one of the two times you watch Stoke each season? If you watched them more, you would understand why they’ve been proven to be the loudest fans in the Premier League all season.

          The Gaffer

  3. Stoke supporters are a disgrace to the Premier League. I’d rather the crowd not make a sound the whole match than hear them boo a player for sustaining a broken leg. How can anyone applaud the actions of Stoke fans when they boo Ramsey?

    The scum in the crowd that did boo are only taking after their leader. Here is what Pulis said during the week about the booing towards Ramsey: “We went to the Emirates and Ryan got absolutely slaughtered — so it’s not just a one-way ticket.”

    Tony Pulis is a stain on the Premier League. The sooner English football rids itself of managers like him, the better. It’s time to evolve.

    1. ” I’d rather the crowd not make a sound the whole match”

      It’s a good job you follow Arsenal then.

      There was a bit of booing when he came on and that was it really, nothing over the top. I think that was probably directed at him in relation to the whole Welsh call-up fiasco perpatrated by Chris Coleman putting Ramsey in a difficult position.

      At the end of the day the whole Arsenal Stoke hate fest stems from the fact that we don’t roll over and get our tummy tickled like all the other good little clubs, therefore denting the superiority complex that emanates from the emirates.

        1. We missed A fuller type figure today. People here are talking about Giudettii from Man City but I think that’s pie in the sky.

          It was pretty warm but I think Arsenal stood the better chance today, I wouldn’t say we weren’t up for it but there wasn’t teh pace and intensity you’d expect from this match up. The time slot for the match doesn’t help in my opinion, be it a Saturday or a Sunday, they always tend to be pretty dull affairs. I’ll always take a point against Arsenal, it shows how far we’ve come when Stoke fans are disappointed with that result.

      1. Ian Cranson, no club rolls over for Arsenal. In fact, no “little club” rolls over in the Premier League for any big club anymore really. That’s not an excuse for the behavior of the Stoke supporters and manager.

        I found it odd that Pulis decided to re-open the feud with Wenger during the week. He didn’t need to. I thought all of that nonsense was in the past. Perhaps Pulis just wanted his name in the papers.

        Also, have you ever been to the Emirates Stadium? Or are you just repeating the same old lines from the Arsenal haters of the world?

        1. I’ve been to the Emirates and Highbury to watch Stoke play Arsenal, (I’ve seen us play at 67 of the 92 league grounds in England, a few non-league grounds, and some in Europe. I know what to expect as an away fan). The “behaviour” of Stoke supporters differs not one iota than that of any fans of the other 92 league clubs in England. I’ve travelled all over watching Stoke play and you get the same behaviour from fans of clubs in the top flight as you do the in League One or Two.

          Fans boo, fans chant, they taunt the opposition and players with witticisms that tend not to be politically correct. Before you start to claim any moral high ground I’d like to know if you think Emmanuel Adebayor will get the same treatment he has in the past by Arsenal fans? Surely booing is preferential to the loathsome songs sung to Adebayor? But it happens, not all of us partake in it, and I wouldn’t tar any Arsenal fan with that brush if I met them.

          1. I was referring to your suggestion that the crowd doesn’t make a sound at the Emirates Stadium, which is not true. I’m well aware of the Adebayor chants. Really though, that was only a few of the away fans at White Hart Lane, and Wenger didn’t say it was alright, like Pulis did about the Stoke fans booing Ramsey. Still, it’s unacceptable. I think we can all agree that these sorts of chants need to disappear.

  4. FSC really need to hire some people to work as fact-checkers. Their team lineup graphics often show the wrong lineup, or people with the wrong numbers, or people in the wrong positions.

    They are showing the Liverpool team and have Sterling in central midfield. Pretty sure he’s on the wing.

  5. Worrying signs for Liverpool with the loss of Lucas Leiva so early in the game. Good opportunity for Shelvey to show what he’s made of.

    The Gaffer

  6. Just got back, a poor showing from both teams really. Mystified at a couple of our substitutions but I can’t say that Giroud or Podolski impressed me, RVP would have put at least one of their chances away. A bit of booing when ramsey came on but that seemed tit for tat with the Arsenal fans and Shawcross. A good away following from Arsenal if a little quiet, they seemed to enjoy themselves abusing Tony Pulis. My take on Arsenal is they’re clearly rebuilding and not the threat they were, the second half of the season should seethem settle I think. Hopefully Oxlade
    Chamberlain will get a more prominent role this season.

    Very warm and muggy day for it.

    Most people seemed impressed with Geoff Cameron, he didn’t seem overawed with the occasion and got the MOM award in the stadium. Looks like he’ll be having some coaching from Rory Delap.

      1. I’m not interested in disrespecting anybody elses team. Using this site I realise I’m in a privileged position of being able to attend matches and see things from a different perspective, whether that’s the live atmosphere or incidents not picked up on camera. Both TV viewing and live attendance have their positives and negatives, with a big difference between highlights and full matches. In all honesty I haven’t watched MOTD this season yet so can only give an opinion on what I see in front of me.

        I’d rather use my experience to give unbiased feedback on the team we’re playing against, that way you get a different but honest perspective rather than listening to your own fans or the media all the time. I’ll try to offer the same opinion when we play Man City on the 15th.

        I have to say from the pov of watching opposing teams players I am gutted that Drogba has left the league, he’s was always absolutely awesome to watch in attack and defence. I’m interested to see Lukaku and whether he can fill that void on his return from West Brom. I’d say from an all round ability viewpoint Yaya Toure is player I’d pick to play for my team now Drogba’s gone.

  7. Thunderous header by skyrtel. Sterling has had more of an impact in 30 minutes than i have seen in a year from Adam and Downing. The kid has some skills

  8. Sterling has been very good. Man city don’t look like they care as much, lackluster. I dislike both teams a lot but given the choice I would choose a draw or worst case scenarion a liverpool win. I can’t stand city

  9. Very poor wall setup by joe hart, left way to much room. City just look unprepared compared to Liverpool, which is a complete surprise, if it stays the same this would be the shock of the season….wait, I take it back skirtal…lol

    1. Absolutely agree. They don’t look like the same team that lost to WBA last week. Seem to have much better movement and the heart that was missing last weekend.

  10. Good way to end the weekend matches very exciting.Sterling showed he belongs and has talent and pace will make mistakes but he has “it”.

  11. Liverpool always show up against the top teams. Good display today but let’s see how they do against the bottom-tier teams that they always struggle against. Fortunately for them they play Arsenal next at home next Sunday. So we know they’ll be up for that game.

    I wonder why Mancini played Kolo Toure instead of Lescott. Maybe he’s trying to force management to buy another central defender. City didn’t play to their usual standards and were gifted both goals. City better start hitting on all cylinders pretty soon if they want to retain their title. They have played two average games so far. Long way to go so we shall see how it all pans out in the end.

  12. Luis..

    That’s unfair to the Gaffer. How long have you been here? I’m a Gooner as well, and the Gaffer is anything but discriminatory. Though I disagree with his perception of Arsenal fans “complaining”, especially when Matt’s comment up there was completely warranted, he is still generally fair in his assessments.

  13. Where’s that City fan who replies in every thread by saying “Liverpool aren’t even a big club anymore.”

    Well I guess since that guy puts so much stock into VERY recent history, City’s failure to win @ the non-big club Liverpool means that City are not a big club anymore.

    1. As a ‘pool fan, I’d agree that Liverpool has been displaced as a “big club”. Granted, it wasn’t five years ago when they fought with Man United in an incredibly tight and great Title hunt. But their last two years were pretty bad. That said, I do take some good humor over those that thought Liverpool wouldn’t stand a chance.

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